Business Analyst or Business Solution Designer? 

At IRM we’ve long argued that investigating, eliciting and gathering requirements (i.e. analysing business problems) is only half the job. Sure the business wants you to understand their problems but more importantly they want you to come up with a solution. And not a technical solution but a business solution. As a business analyst you […]

How to Draw Data Flow Diagrams 

Data flow diagrams (DFD) show how the functions, or processes, of a system relate to each other via the data that flows between them. They are most valuable in showing ‘what’, (the logical view) but can also be used to show the ‘how’ (the physical view).   Download our guide to DFDs here: How To […]

How Can I Add Business Value? 

To answer this question we need to understand what business value actually is. As an employee, adding value can translate into improving processes, providing better customer service, reducing time to market, delivering better products/services. However to a shareholder or company owner there’s only one value metric – increased profits. This is achieved by selling more […]

User Stories & The Jungle Book 

Back in 1902, a collection of stories and poems for children – the Just So Stories written by Rudyard Kipling – was published. For those of you struggling to place Rudyard Kipling, he was the author of The Jungle Book. Check out the Disney movie of the same name if you’re still not sure – or ask your […]

Use Case Fragments 

A previous IRM article Event Based Analysis and Modelling described how business functionality in a requirements package can be broken down into a table with column headings – Event, Trigger, Initiator, Use Case name, etc. Each business function is a separate event and has a unique number. A typical business function might contain several unique events […]

Is Business Analysis Low Tech? 

Many course attendees ask us – what are the best business analysis tools, what software should I use, can we have computers in the training room? The reality is, the more sophisticated the software you’re using, the greater the chance it will hinder, rather than help, the business analysis process. Almost 10 years ago, an […]

Data Modelling & Object Oriented Development 

At some stage in their working life, every business analyst will have some involvement with data modelling. They may need to model how data is (or will be) used or – if they only deal with requirements investigation – then someone else in the team will need to verify that the data to support new […]

How to use Use Cases 

Many business analysts and business users get frustrated at the perceived lack of information in a use case diagram. “It’s all very well drawing a picture” they say but what about the details – what’s actually going on? When producing project documentation, use case diagrams are rarely used on their own. They will generally be […]

A Manager’s Guide to User Acceptance Testing 

For most businesses and organisations, if IT stops, the business stops. Whenever a company turns on a new production line, opens a new retail store, launches a new product or provides a new service, there is invariably a new or modified IT system behind it. Going live is the culmination of time, effort, resources and […]

Separating Analysis from Design 

Looking at what business objectives you are trying to satisfy before leaping into the technology enables you to use the technology wisely, manage scope and cut costs, producing systems which work for your clients. It’s easy to concentrate on the technical features of any project and lose sight of the reason for its existence. Every […]